Friday, May 19, 2017

The fickle finger of instagram

by Richard John Scarr
(Brighton, East Sussex, England)

If what will be will be.
Then I know it rests with me.
To accept the fact, and do the best I can.
For if it is ordained.
As I think I've just explained. It will be,
because it is part of fate's great plan.
If it is divined.
Then it would be a waste of time.
For me to even think of giving less.
I could just let time go by.
And then not even try.
But fate will still decide the worst or best.
When we're off to catch a plane.
We end up waiting for a train.
And then arrive about an hour late.
It is me who gets the blame,
because we've missed the plane,
But no one points a finger at fickle fate.
I thrust down with the hoe.
Right onto my big toe.
The fickle finger of fate can be malicious.
But I don't stand there and sob.
And watch my big toe throb.
I say: "Thank you finger of fate, that feels delicious!"
There is just one way to go.
And that is with the flow.
Why try to fight intended circumstance?
I'll bide my time instead.
And when it turns its head.
I'll give the finger of fate a good kick up the pants!

As I mentioned before, I have been spending time on instagram. For a quick dose of inspiration it is wonderful. It is also wonderful for a quick bit of reassurance, as I can immediately get 30 "likes" when I post a piece of art, and as on Etsy, I think we all want those elusive yet rewarding 💜's. Just to know someone out there understands and likes what we have created.

That being said, I also need to say I do make my art for me. As do most of the artists I see. That is true for me, and obvious I believe, from how often I paint, (daily) and from my random and frequent side tracks into other subjects to paint. I float to whatever moves me to paint at the moment. Lately that happens to be circles and abstracts because I am simply more interested in watching the paint flow, and in helping the watercolors lightly touch each other and blend, than in the end result. But, at the same time I am hoping the end result will be pleasing, and that others will enjoy seeing it and being inspired by it. Hence the endless pursuit of "likes".

Anyway, part of the reason I am writing this is that those likes are so fickle. I generally get a few comments and about 40 likes and a new follower or two on instagram for every post I make there. And, I am really happy with that.

But then I posted this piece yesterday or the day before...

And I got 3000 views, and 75 new followers so far in one day! GREAT, but Why? This is no better than any of my other paintings, is it?
And now, when my next post doesn't achieve that will I be let down with only one or two followers? I hope not. And I hope to avoid trying to replicate that piece just for "likes". I do plan on doing more bugs, because they were fun, and I had want to design some fabric like that, but I will have to try not to worry about that fickle finger!



  1. This piece really is cute. Though it is so out of focus here that I am getting dizzy looking at it.

    That 3,000 and 75 in one day is amazing. I wonder, did you use a new tag that got a new group of people? Nice to know more people are enjoying what you do.

    1. I am not sure why it seems out of focus, it seems to do that lately when I use my phone to post but seen on my phone I can't tell until I look st it on the mac. Oh, more Blogger issues(!) argh!

    2. I can never tell if things are in focus on the back of my camera. I need it on my computer to tell the details. Maybe you just need to go into your phones camera settings and choose a larger size format for images.

  2. these little bugs are absolutely adorable, I love how they look all on one sheet. Have you ever thought of making these into fabric and making pillows etc out of them? I think they're kinda awesome and I can see this on kid's bedspreads. visiting from PPF.( I think there;s a site called spoonflower where you can put your art on fabric)

    1. I use spoonflower all the time. I am addicted actually, and yes, I was planning on turning it into fabric, but thanks for the advice!

  3. Love the little bugs. Yes it is out of focus. Instagram is like FB the likes and comments and whatever are control ed by the entity. I recently watch a show on Vice News about this. They talked about just what you said. You will be let down the next time and stay on the site longer trying to figure out how to get more likes, more comments more followers.

  4. I love Instagram but it does puzzle me sometimes why certain things are more popular than others, doesnt make much sense to me

  5. Often times they feature a piece on a recommended search it can land you more views...many people buy their followers on's used to be easier to get followers but now they are using the same algorithms as fb... Could have been the bug hashtag...hard to say. Your art is gorgeous so you will always be picking up new followers!! Love the poem at the beginning too!! Just make sure to post your art on an angle so it doesn't get copied/stolen.. I think your work is very marketable and desirable!!

    Hugs Giggles

    Hugs Giggles

  6. Because it's so darn charming! xox

  7. I'd like to think that the thing you take from it Andrea is this. For me, the DOWN side of the positives of Instagram etc is that you are, in effect, in a bingo ball tumbler , or Plinko board of chance. IF your post is seen by the "right, few people" who like it or somehow link to it, and that like or repost is seen by the "right, few people" and so on and so on, you achieve that number. Or if it is featured somewhere off the site that links to it on Instagram. That's not to take away from the success of it as a single post or work at all but your own asking of the question, "Why?", is the proof of the "chance" of it.. Because you create beautiful work ALL the time! And, if the same thousands of people had the access to each piece you make, you would receive a thousand likes per piece, I have no doubt. And, once you build and continue to "feed" your growing community, that may be the case.

    I just heard from a new client in Shadow of the Sphinx that my statues are "all over tumblr". Now, I have never been on tumblr but I bet they are not "all over" it. But perhaps all over the tumblrs of the folks who have an interest in what I make. So those little niches, no matter the source, tend to follow us everywhere!

    Also, I recently discovered while perusing the new Etsy manager page that the most viewed and favorited item in my Bewilder and Pine shop is one I made three or four years ago and sold back then too. Never made another and yet it STILL makes the top two or three views and favorited every month. But here's the funny thing. No-one has ever requested one! lol So, is that Pinterest? Instagram? Blogs? Who knows!

    But as for that particular image of yours, it's as bug-lovely as could be Andrea. ENJOY the moment and try not to look a it as a barometer of how good any individual piece is or even if the subject matter or form has a wider appeal. You're at the mercy of the fickle finger, the Plinko board, the pinball cushions of social media! Enjoy the ride!! :)

  8. How adorable these little bugs of yours are!!!! :D